food protests in IranFood protests in Iran triggered last week by a sudden hike in prices of essential goods were violently repressed with security forces using lethal force

A new wave of nationwide protests was triggered last week by a cut in state subsidies for imported wheat that caused price hikes of as much as 300% for a variety of flour-based staples.
The prices of essential goods including bread, milk, dairy products, eggs, poultry, and cooking oil have also risen sharply amid Iran’s 40-percent inflation rate.

The cities of Andimeshk, Dezful, Izeh, Droud, Shahrekord, Junqan, Yasuj, and Neishabour were among areas hit by protests over skyrocketing prices of food staples.

All sectors of Iranian society are being crushed under soaring inflation, rampant unemployment, meager wages, and widespread water shortages, as well as the Iranian regime’s repressive policies.
Speaking on May 9 on state television, Raisi pledged that the price of traditional bread, gasoline, and medicine would remain unchanged.

In order to compensate for the rise in prices, Raisi said direct payments equivalent to approximately $10 or $13 would be disbursed for two months for each family member of low-income households. Later, he said Iranians will be offered electronic coupons that would allow them to access a limited amount of subsidized bread.

Reports suggested that the price of cooking oil had almost quadrupled since Raisi’s announcement, while the price of eggs and chicken nearly doubled.

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Khuzestan protestsInternet outages, arrests, and the presence of state security forces throughout the Khuzestan Province have continued after people came to the streets to protest skyrocketing prices of essential goods.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, May 6 and 7, 2022, the people of Khuzestan Province, came to the streets in the cities of Ahvaz, Izeh, Baghmalek, and Susangerd, protesting against the skyrocketing prices of bread and other essential goods.
Iran’s intelligence and security forces rounded up and detained dozens of people, usually following home raids of Arab activists and former political prisoners during the late evening or early morning hours on Saturday and Sunday.
In the cities of Susangerd, Hamidieh, and Ahvaz, several of those arrested have been taken to an unknown location. They include Saeid Dahimi, Ali Moghinami, Hassan Moghinami, Jassem Bahrani, Hashem Bahrani, Mohammad Tarfi, Adel Hemadi, Mostafa Cheldawi, Abbas Cheldawi, and Emad Savari.
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Mehdi Salehi Ghaleh ShahrokhiPolitical prisoner Mehdi Salehi Ghaleh Shahrokhi who was sentenced to death for taking part in peaceful protests, died in a hospital today.
He suffered a stroke in January after being injected wrong medicine in Dastgerd prison of Isfahan where he was detained since arrested. Authorities delayed his transfer to the hospital, putting him at grave risk of death.
He was arrested in November 2019 and, along with four other prisoners, was sentenced to death in addition to five years in prison with hard labor on charges of “participating in the January 2018 Iran protests,” “Moharebeh (waging war against God),” and “Corruption on Earth.”
Death sentences against Salehi and four other men arrested in Isfahan Province, central Iran, Mohammad Bastami, Abbas Mohammadi, Majid Nazari, and Hadi Kiani, in connection with nationwide protests during December 2017-January 2018, were upheld by the Supreme Court on July 30, 2020, despite reports of false “confessions” extracted under torture and evidence contradicting the men’s guilt.
Salehi, a resident of Yazdanshahr, was shot and wounded in the head while helping a friend who had been wounded during the 2018 protests.
He went to the prison health center on December 11, 2021, due to heart and head problems, but suffered a stroke due to the injection of the wrong medicine.
Prison authorities delayed his transfer to the hospital, putting him at grave risk of death.
He was in a coma at Al-Zahra Hospital in Isfahan until March 2022. However, he was surrounded by intelligence and security agents, and his family and small daughter were not allowed to visit him.
Former political prisoners also warned on their social media accounts that Salehi’s case is no accident and has the hallmark of the intentional killings that the regime carries out in its prisons.
In a video message to the mother of Mehdi Salehi, the mother of Behnam Mahjoubi said, “Like my Behnam, only death released your Mehdi from prison. These sentences are very familiar: medical poisoning, wrong medication, or wrong injection. There was no mistake. These are all premeditated murders. This is a scenario to kill our innocent children in prison. [The authorities] must be held accountable, and we will seek justice for the unjust killing of our children.”
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Rasoul BodaghiRasoul Bodaghi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Teachers Trade Association (ITTA), has been sentenced to five years in prison and banned from residing in Tehran and neighboring provinces for two years.
Mr. Badaghi’s lawyer, Ramin Safarnia, tweeted on Saturday, April 16, that the activist was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion” and one year in prison on “propaganda activities.” He was also sentenced to a one-year ban on leaving the country and a two-year ban on residing in Tehran and all neighboring provinces.
The senior member of the ITTA would have to serve four years behind bars according to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, which allows defendants to serve only the longest sentence in cases involving multiple convictions.
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Houshmand AlipourPolitical prisoner Houshmand Alipour has been deprived of his right to leave and visits because of the media coverages of his hunger strike in Sanandaj Prison.
Under pressure of the Intelligence Department of Kurdistan, Khosravi Zadeh, the judge in charge of Sanandaj Prison, and the head of the prison, informed Houshmand Alipour that since the issue of his hunger strike had been reported in the media, they could not grant him leave and he could not have visitations with his family.
According to Hejar Alipour, Hooshmand’s brother: “Government officials and officials in charge of Sanandaj prison continue to refuse to grant leave to this political prisoner under pressure and threats from the General Directorate of Intelligence of Kurdistan Province.”
Mr. Alipour said: “On November 16, 2021, after a 15-day hunger strike, Houshmand was promised leave by the judge in charge of Sanandaj prison, Khosravi Zadeh, and the head of the prison. He was told that they would allow him to leave in two months. But now they say that since the news of his hunger strike has been covered by the media, they could not send him on leave.”
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Hirad PirThe Revolutionary Court of Tehran has sentenced labor activist Hirad Pirbdaghi to 4 years and 8 months in prison, two years of deprivation of membership in political and social groups, and a two-year ban on leaving the country.
Pirbdaghi has been charged with “propaganda activities against the state and society and collusion against national security.”
Hirad Pirbodaghi is a writer, labor activist, and member of the editorial board of the labor magazine Gam (Step).
This labor activist has been arrested several times for his activities.
Hirad Porbodaghi was first arrested in August 2019 during a gathering in front of the Revolutionary Court, supporting the Haft Tappeh Sugar Factory’s imprisoned workers, and spent three months behind bars.
A few weeks after his release, he was detained again for 10 days, this time because he still hadn’t stopped his activities.
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Maryam AkbariPolitical prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared is serving her 13th year in exile in Semnan prison. She is suffering from fatty liver disease and is deprived of minimal facilities in Semnan prison.
“Maryam Akbari is unable to provide the food needed to maintain her minimum health as the doctor has set,” an informed source said. “Because there are no facilities for cooking food even for the sick inmates in Semnan Central Prison.”
“This political prisoner has been forced to eat bread and cheese for about a year. Because she cannot eat prison food and this food has endangered her health.”
Maryam Akbari was arrested on December 31, 2009, after the tremendous uprising on December 27 that year which shook the pillars of the regime. In June 2010, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran handed down a 15-year prison sentence for Moharebeh on the alleged charge of “membership in the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran,” a charge which Mrs. Akbari has never accepted.
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Hosein RonaReports on social media indicate that civil activist and former prisoner of conscience Hossein Ronaghi has been arrested by security forces.
Ronaghi is an advocate for human rights and Internet freedom, and has spent several years in prison for his peaceful activities.
Officials have not yet responded to reports of his arrest.
Meanwhile, his brother, Hassan Ronaghi tweeted yesterday that “my brother has not been heard from since the morning he left home. Some friends said that he has been contacted several times with an anonymous number.”
“Whatever happens to Hossein, the office of the supreme leader, the IRGC and the judiciary are responsible,” he added.
Majid Tavakoli, a civil activist, also tweeted yesterday that “there is no news of Hossein Ronaghi since this morning and his family and we (his friends) are worried.”
He added: “Hossein is a hero who has worked hard for the freedom of the Internet in the last two decades. He has always been the voice of the people with courage and has fought for democracy, human rights and a free Iran.”
In his latest Twitter post published on Tuesday, Ronaghi criticized “the Bill for the Protection of the Rights of Cyberspace Users” which would drastically increase the Iranian authorities’ ability to censor and surveil activity on the internet in Iran. He said that the proposed bill it based on the “opinion and wishes” of the regime’s Supreme Leader.
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Hassan SadeghiPrison authorities in Rajai Shahr Prison have prevented the continuation of treatment and surgery of the gums of political prisoner Hassan Sadeghi.
Hassan Sadeghi went to the hospital for several sessions and his gums were operated on and sutured, but he was told that he was no longer allowed to be sent to a hospital outside prison.
“Political prisoner Hassan Sadeghi received treatment at his own expense and was sent to a dentist outside the prison for several sessions,” a reliable source said. “But suddenly he was prevented from being sent for further treatment and he was informed that he was no longer allowed transfer to hospital.”
“He had a gum surgery and his gums are sutured and treatment has not yet been completed,” the source added. “This condition can definitely lead to gum infection and further complications. How he should take out the stitches?”
Hassan Sadeghi is currently being held in Rajai Shahr Prison. Due to his many years in prison, the political prisoner suffers from various illnesses such as eye condition, severe back pain and foot pain, and gum disease.
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Forough TaghipourPolitical prisoner Forough Taghipour has been taken to a filthy cell with no access to hygiene or medical care after she contracted the omicron Covid variant in Qarchak Prison in Varamin, in Tehran Province.
She suffers from lung disease and asthma and has symptoms of the virus since last week. Alarm is growing over the danger the poor condition poses to her.
An informed source said, “Instead of properly treating the political prisoner, prison officials transferred her to a dirty room and there is a threat of her contracting other diseases.”
“In this room, called quarantine, Forough, who was already in critical condition, is being held in a dirty place with no access to hygiene or medical care,” the source said.
Born in 1994, Forough Taghipour has graduated in accounting with a bachelor’s degree.
Forough Taghipour and her mother, Nassim Jabbari, were arrested on February 24, 2020.
Mrs. Jabbari, 58, was released on bail in mid-March and eventually exonerated of her charges.
Forough Taghipour, however, remained in detention and under interrogation in Ward 209 of Evin Prison. She was pressured to cooperated with the Ministry of Intelligence and appear on TV making false confessions against herself.
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